Blockchain And Intellectual Property (IP) Laws
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Data is the driving force of every system in this world. Social media has evolved from what it was 5 years ago, and its success is dependent on shared data. Creators and social media contributors make some of this data available to others. For instance, a digital artist can create a digital painting to share online which is the creator’s intellectual property. We have seen cases of people stealing content and claiming ownership. This is one of the many areas that blockchain technology can disrupt. 

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property refers to any content created by the intellect of someone that has commercial value. It could be in the form of an invention, a piece of art, literature, trademark, etc. Intellectual property laws refer to the laws that protect the intellectual property of a person, in the event that copyrights exist.

With social media, it is easy for people to steal other people’s ideas and hard work without getting penalized. It may interest you to know that there have been numerous cases of intellectual property theft on the internet. Some of the intellectual property thieves have made money off people’s sweat and hard work.

It is interesting to see that some social media platforms have found ways to tackle IP thefts. For instance, a Twitter user can lose their accounts if they upload videos that have licensed music. SoundCloud has a similar feature, as well as Anchor podcast among others applications.

There are different problems plaguing the traditional intellectual property system, and they include the following:
  • Lack of transparency
  • Inability to verify the authenticity of the intellectual property and the author.
  • Fraud

Blockchain And Intellectual Property

Blockchain is vast, versatile, and flexible, and it comes with default immutability, transparency, and security. It is a decentralized distributed ledger technology, and data or records on the blockchain cannot be altered.

With the aid of Smart Contracts, intellectual properties can be validated with the appropriate credentials. With blockchain, it becomes easy for anyone to look up the original owner of the property.

If the content creator wants to take it further, they can monetize their content with cryptocurrency, and validate it with blockchain. It makes it difficult for anyone to lay claim to another person’s intellectual property, as there is a digital signature.

Getting a blockchain-based digital signature on your intellectual property is much easier and faster than traditional methods. The process of getting it done takes away the need for 3rd parties to get involved in the process.

With the increased interest in NFTs, there is a need for people to ensure that their artworks are licensed. There have been cases of some people stealing artist’s works for sale on NFT platforms. The market is already seeing a lot of confusion with NFT’s in terms of the “author of a digital asset that is affiliated to an NFT.”

An individual is considered the “author” if they independently create the digital art. It becomes a lot more confusing legally when multiple people create one piece of digital art or when digital art is based on the works of something else. With the NFT craze still being in its infancy, we expect that a lot of intellectual property issues will eventually surface.

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